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Tomato Basil Pesto Soup with Toasted Cheesy Croutons

As much as I really love the warmer weather we've been having here in Utah (in February/March - it's been awesome!), I was hoping soup season hadn't come to a complete halt. Luckily, I opened up my window this morning to the fresh smell of a beautifully rainy morning - and it hasn't stopped since. 

I love to cozy up to a fresh bowl of soup on days like this. The first time I tasted this soup was at the Kelsey Nixon book signing here in Salt Lake City. The smell was what first caught my attention. Pesto in tomato soup? The room was filled with such a hearty warmth with just the fragrance of this soup coming from the big soup pot the chefs had ready for us to taste! It was like a tractor beam for us. I knew right away that this would be one of the first recipes I'd try from her cookbook. And it didn't disappoint for a second.

I've made tomato soup over and over again, but never did I think to stir in a couple tablespoons of pesto. It's so simple, but completely transformed this soup into something so divine, we could hardly fill our spoons quick enough for another splendorous sip.  

Making the soup was super-easy as well - another plus! You start off sauteing those beautiful garlic and onion flavors together in a little EVOO, toss in the whole tomatoes, chicken broth, pesto, and a little sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. As you smash these flavors together, something incredible happens, and the smell will knock your socks off! If you make this recipe, or any other "puree/bisque" -like soup, an immersion blender will save your life. I use mine all the time, and this recipe is a perfect example why :) Stir in some cream to liven things up, and you have your decadent mouthwatering soup. 

We're not finished yet. The cheesy croutons. OH those croutons. They seemed so simple, how on earth would they become our most favorite soup-topper of all time? Well, you'll just have to make 'em to find out... 


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Tomato Basil Pesto Soup with Toasted Cheesy Croutons
makes 6 servings


1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, mined
1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes (San Marzano if you can find it), undrained
2 1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
2 T pesto
2 T sugar
1/2 C heavy cream
kosher salt and cracked black pepper

half a loaf of french bread, day old, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 T unsalted butter, melted 
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 C cheddar cheese, shredded

1. to make soup: Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. When warm, add onion and garlic. Cook, while stirring, until translucent and very fragrant, about 3 minutes. 
2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, pest, and sugar. Stir and smash the tomatoes as much as possible (Kelsey suggests using a potato masher). Bring the soup to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Blend soup until smooth using an immersion blender. Stir in cream and then bring the soup back to a simmer, cook for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grilled cheese croutons
4. to make croutons: Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, toss together the bread with melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Pour out over the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer. Bake for about 10 minutes, until crisp and starting to to turn golden brown. Top immediately with cheese and bake another 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve over hot soup. 

Recipe source: Kitchen Confidence, Kelsey Nixon, "Roasted Tomato Soup with Pesto and Cheesy Croutons"


  1. We adore tomato soup here and this looks amazing!

    1. Yay! Thanks so much Jenny! This recipe is definitely worth a try.. and another.. and another. Okay, I'm an addict.


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